Braces 101: How to Help Your Teen Feel Comfortable

Braces 101: How to Help Your Teen Feel Comfortable

Braces are one of the best, and certainly most affordable, ways to have your child’s teeth professionally straightened. By placing a combination of metal brackets and wires across your mouth, braces work primarily off of pressure. As such, your child’s braces will have to be tightened every month or so to ensure that they are properly moved. After each tightening appointment, however, your child may be in a lot of pain and discomfort. To help your child feel more comfortable afterward, try using these tips.

Soft Foods for One Day

For one full day after your child gets their braces tightened, try only to feed them soft foods. If your teen loves milkshakes, smoothies, or acai bowls, this is the time to load them up on these delicious treats— the less pressure they place on their mouth by biting into hard foods, the more comfortable they will be.

Take Ibuprofen

Your teenager is certainly old enough to take an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen. Before they come into our office to have their braces tightened, try giving them the prescribed dose based on their weight. By the time they are done with their appointment, the ibuprofen will have hopefully kicked in already.

Ice and Heat

If your child is experiencing more pain than usual, try to have them alternate between ice packs and hot pads. The combination of hot and cold will help to get rid of pain and inflammation— making them feel comfortable, faster.

Having braces can be uncomfortable for your teenager— especially after they’ve just been tightened. To help ease any discomfort, try using the three tips listed above. To learn more about dental braces or how to make your teenager feel more comfortable while wearing them, contact Centennial Dental Center today!

What To Expect from Your Same Day Crown Consultation Appointment

What To Expect from Your Same Day Crown Consultation Appointment

Having a chipped or cracked tooth can put a damper on your day and your lifestyle. Luckily, by getting a crown placed on top of your tooth, our dentists at Centennial Dental Center can help restore your smile and your functionality so that you can get back to living life like normal. And, as a way to help you cut down on using too much medical leave, we have a procedure called “same day crowns” so that you can get all of your dental work done in just one appointment. Before you can be approved for same day dental crowns, however, you will have to have a checkup evaluation. So, what is this checkup evaluation and how can you prepare for it? Read on to learn more.


Same day dental crowns are only ideal for patients who otherwise have a strong jaw and good dental health. If you have a weak jaw or other dental problems, then our dentists may recommend that we take a different treatment route. To help us determine the health of your mouth and jaw, we will take a few x-rays during your consultation appointment.

Physical Evaluation

In addition to taking some x-rays, our dentists will want to conduct a physical examination of your mouth to check for any oral issues and to take a closer look at your chipped tooth. This examination shouldn’t be painful and should only last a few minutes— it isn’t anything to worry about.

If you are approved for same-day crowns at your consultation appointment, we may either reschedule you for another day or perform the procedure in our office that very same day. As you can see, your consultation appointment isn’t anything to worry about. If you would like to learn more about same day dental crowns or to schedule an appointment, contact Centennial Dental Center today!

3 Snacks to Put In Your Kid’s Easter Basket

3 Snacks to Put In Your Kid’s Easter Basket

It’s that time of year where Easter egg hunts are here, and kids are getting ready to spot the giant bunny. However, Easter is also a time where your kids are probably eating too much candy— leaving them with a stomach ache and the increased likelihood of getting cavities. From carrots to goldfish crackers, this article will discuss a few fun snacks you can pack in your child’s Easter basket. Read on to learn more.


Yes, it may sound weird to put carrots in your little one’s Easter basket but rather than filling their plastic eggs full of jelly beans and chocolates, try filling them with carrots instead. To get your kids excited about eating carrots, make sure to emphasize that they are the Easter bunny’s favorite snack and he wanted to share. The abrasive texture of raw carrots helps to scrub your teeth and get rid of harmful plaque and bacteria.

Apple Slices

As another treat that is a bit out of the ordinary to add to an Easter basket, apple slices are good for your child’s body and mouth. Similar to carrots, the texture of apples cleans your teeth and encourages the production of saliva— both of which keep your teeth as healthy as possible. Additionally, apple slices also contain ascorbic acid which is known to naturally whiten your teeth.

Goldfish Crackers

Another fairly healthy treat that you can add to your child’s Easter basket is goldfish crackers. And who doesn’t love those? Low in sugar, goldfish crackers will help curb your child’s hunger without giving them cavities in the process.

Easter is a holiday that your kids may associate with eating too much candy and treats. However, you can make this holiday a little healthier by filling their basket with healthy treats like carrots, apple slices, and goldfish crackers. If you would like to learn more about smile healthy tips, contact Centennial Dental Center today to schedule an appointment.

Oral Anatomy 101: Understanding Your Teeth

Oral Anatomy 101: Understanding Your Teeth

You know that you have them and you know that the best way to take care of them is to brush and floss on a regular basis, but there are likely some basics about your teeth that you may not be as familiar with. To help you gain a better understanding of your teeth, we have created a basic article discussing the different types of teeth. Read on to learn more.

  • Incisors: The teeth that lie front and center in your mouth are called your incisors of which you have eight of. As the first teeth to erupt in your mouth, incisors usually start to sprout around six months of age.
  • Canines: Often referred to as your “vampire teeth,” your canines are the sharp pointy teeth in the front of your mouth. Ideal for chewing up foods like meat, canines are the teeth that do most of the tearing when you bite into foods. The two incisors on the top of the mouth and the bottom of the mouth usually come in a bit later in life; around 16-24 months.
  • Deciduous Molars: These molars are the first set of molars that start to erupt around the age of 12-15 months and are what help you chew and grind your food. After they fall out, however, they are then replaced by your bicuspids.
  • Bicuspids: Your bicuspids or premolars help you to chew and grind your food so that you can properly digest it. You have two bicuspids on your upper jaw and two on the lower jaw. Typically, you will get your bicuspids around the age of 10 or 11.
  • Wisdom Teeth: Not everyone has wisdom teeth, but most people do. Erupting around the age of 18-20, wisdom teeth are typically removed to prevent any overcrowding in the mouth.

Sometimes it’s nice to get back to basics and learn things such as the anatomy of the mouth. If you would like to learn more about the structure of your mouth and teeth, contact Centennial Dental Center today to schedule an appointment with our office!

Have a Miniature Tooth Grinder on Your Hands? How to Break the Habit

Have a Miniature Tooth Grinder on Your Hands? How to Break the Habit

You can start developing bad habits as soon as you are born— enter the torture chamber called “sleep training.” As your child starts to grow up and develop more, they may start to develop a broad range of habits you hope they’ll outgrow before prom: picking their nose, wetting their bed, playing in the toilet, and even grinding their teeth. If you have noticed that your little one is grinding their teeth, here are a few easy tips to help them get rid of this habit. Read on to learn more.

Stress Management

Take a look at when your child is grinding their teeth. Is it when they’re upset or in deep thought? Do they grind their teeth during a temper tantrum or when they are trying to figure out a puzzle? If so, their teeth grinding is likely being induced by stress. To help them get rid of their teeth grinding and stress, try teaching them a few alternative stress management tips like running around, taking deep breaths, taking a brief time-out to relax, or even playing with a stress ball.

Mouth Guard

If your child is like most adult teeth grinders, then they do all of their dirty work in the middle of the night while they are sleeping. Because you can’t wake your child up every time they are grinding their teeth during the night, consider coming into Centennial Dental Center and having them fit a custom mouth guard. The mouth guard will act as a barrier between their top and bottom rows of teeth.


Explaining to your kid what teeth were grinding does isn’t necessarily going to make them stop, but it may make them a little scared. To explain this to them, try using a visual representation. For instance, grab an oreo cookie and split it in half. Then, rub two edges of the two cookies together until they start to form crumbs. Explain to your child that tooth grinding is similar to these cookies and that over time, you can wear them down until they are merely crumbs.

By teaching your kids stress management tips, having them wear a mouthguard, and explaining to them what it does to your teeth, you can help them keep their teeth in as good as shape as possible. To learn more, contact Centennial Dental Center today!

3 Ways to Get Ready for Dental Implants

3 Ways to Get Ready for Dental Implants

If you have a missing tooth either due to dental decay or an accident, you may want to consider getting a dental implant from Centennial Dental Center. By surgically inserting a metal rod into your gums and then placing a crown on top, a dental implant can act just as well as your natural tooth— giving you the ability to chew and function like normal. However, as a multiple step procedure, it’s important that you are taking the necessary precautions so that your mouth doesn’t reject the implant. From quitting smoking to getting dental x-rays, this article will discuss a few ways you can get ready for your dental implant surgery. Read on to learn more.

Quit Smoking

If you are a chronic smoker, the last thing you likely want to do is quit. Not only will you have to deal with cravings and withdrawals, but you will also have to dedicate yourself to quitting. Smoking causes your immune system to weaken which means that you are more prone to infection after getting dental implant surgery. Additionally, smoking may also increase your likelihood of your mouth rejecting the implant altogether. For help with quitting smoking, contact a local hotline today.

Food and Beverages

Depending on the type of anesthesia you have to have during your surgery will help you and your dentist determine if you should limit your food and beverage intake before surgery. For instance, some types of anesthesia will make you sick, and so you will have to fast beforehand.

Dental X-Rays

Before each step of the dental implant procedure, you will have to get dental x-rays done. The initial x-ray is used to determine the strength and health of your jawbone. The second x-ray will be done after the implant is inserted and is there to determine if your jaw has taken the implant or if it has rejected it. If you have never had a dental x-ray, they are pain-free and only last a couple of minutes, so you won’t have anything to worry about.

Taking the proper precautions before your dental implant surgery will help make sure that the procedure goes as smoothly as possible. If you would like to learn more about the steps you should take, contact the dentists at Centennial Dental Center today.

3 Things to Know About Teeth Whitening

3 Things to Know About Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure that we offer here at Centennial Dental Center. Whether you want to use an over-the-counter whitening option like whitening strips, or you want to have them professionally whitened by our staff, there are some things to know beforehand. Read on to learn more.

It’s Not Permanent

Although in a perfect world, teeth whitening would be a kind of one and done thing, it does require some upkeep. Right after you get your teeth professionally whitened by our staff, you will enjoy a bright white smile for weeks to come, but after you drink beverages like coffee, dark soda, and tea, your teeth will visibly darken.

It Can Cause Sensitivity

Not everyone who gets their teeth professionally whitened will experience tooth sensitivity, but it’s safe to say that many of our patients do. The good thing to know about tooth sensitivity caused by whitening is that it will go away over time and it can be treated with a simple, over-the-counter toothpaste like Sensodyne.

It Can’t Fix All Stains

Professional and over-the-counter teeth whitening can help get rid of surface stains, but they can’t fix all stained teeth. For instance, if your teeth are tinged a gray color due to an antibiotic like tetracycline, we won’t be able to whiten your teeth. However, there are alternative ways to get whiter teeth with something like dental veneers which porcelain onlays that are applied over your existing teeth.

Having a brighter, whiter smile can easily transform your appearance and your self-esteem in a matter of minutes. By learning more about what you can expect afterward, you can have more realistic expectations. If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening or if you would like to schedule an appointment with our office, contact Centennial Dental Center today!

Dental Problems In Older Patients | Tips for Treating Dry Mouth

Dental Problems In Older Patients | Tips for Treating Dry Mouth

May is Older Americans Month, and this is a great opportunity to discuss dental problems that often occur in men and women who are 65 or older. Routine dental exams and cleanings are the best way to keep your smile healthy at any age, but you may be surprised about some of the things that can affect your teeth and gums.

The Return of Cavities

Like acne, cavities are perceived as being a problem that only occurs in younger patients as they learn good oral hygiene habits, but cavities are a common problem amongst older patients. After age 60, we enter what is considered the second stage of cavity development in our lifetimes.

The Culprit? Dry Mouth

Hundreds of medications result in dry mouth as a side effect. Without proper saliva levels, your teeth and gums are more vulnerable to bacteria, food particles, plaque and tartar. Some medical conditions also cause dry mouth, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. If you are taking care of a parent or grandparent who has been diagnosed with one of these conditions, pay special attention to their oral hygiene. Because of how dry mouth affects your smile, you should tell your dental hygienist about any changes to your medications and health, even if those changes seem minor.

Tips for Treating Dry Mouth in Older Patients

The medications that you take for cholesterol, anxiety, blood pressure and other conditions are important for your health and quality of life, so you can follow some tips to keep your mouth hydrated.

  1. Drink more water, even if you do not feel thirsty. Always keep a bottle with you.
  2. Ask your dentist about dental varnish or fluoride gel to protect your teeth from cavities.
  3. Keep a supply of sugar-free lozenges or gum handy to stimulate saliva production.
  4. Change your diet to reduce the amount of fruit juices, coffee, alcohol and sodas. Replace these with water. You can add some flavored electrolyte powders to give it flavor.
  5. Use a humidifier at home. This will keep your sinuses moist as well.

Learn More About Oral Hygiene for Older Patients. Contact Centennial Dental Center.

To learn more about dental services for older patients, dental implantsTMJ treatment and our other services, contact Centennial Dental Center to schedule an appointment. You can contact our office in Boise directly at (208) 322-1112.

Understanding Your Family Tree: Is Periodontal Disease Hereditary?

Understanding Your Family Tree: Is Periodontal Disease Hereditary?

You know that if you come from a family of black haired, black eyed individuals that you will likely have children with similar physical traits. Although there are some genetic traits that are distinguishable, there are others that are a bit more abstract. As an oral disease that causes your gums to become red, inflamed, and bleed, periodontal disease can also result in your teeth falling out if it goes untreated. So, is this disease hereditary? Is it something that you are more likely to get if your parents have it? Read on to learn more.

Heredity Bacteria

There has been some recent evidence that points to the fact that your susceptibility of getting the periodontal disease may be related to bacterial lipopolysaccharides which are genetically contracted. So, if your family has these bacterial lipopolysaccharides, you are likely to have them too. However, it can be hard to determine if you have this type of bacteria and the testing for it may not be for your benefit.


More than genetics, you pick up both good and bad habits from your family. For instance, if you live in a household where you eat an all-natural diet and exercise frequently, you are more likely to be a healthy weight. Whereas if you live in a family that doesn’t exercise and eats a lot of processed foods, you are more likely to be overweight. Similarly, if you live in a family that doesn’t emphasize good oral hygiene or that eats a lot of processed sugar, you are more likely to develop periodontal disease. Remember that the habits you get from your family can impact your health. Luckily, unlike genetics, habits can easily be made and broken.

Periodontal disease can wreak havoc on the condition of your gums— leaving your mouth feeling inflamed and uncomfortable. If you are worried that you are going to contract the periodontal disease because of your family history, consider both bacteria and bad habits. To learn more about periodontal disease and how you can treat it, contact Centennial Dental Center today!

How to Get Rid of Gum Disease

How to Get Rid of Gum Disease

Gum disease is one of the most common oral diseases out there. Causing red, inflamed, and tender gums, gum disease can easily be treated. If, however, it is left untreated, it can turn into a more advanced form of gum disease called periodontitis. Affecting more than half of American adults over the age of 30, Periodontitis can cause tooth loss if left untreated. So, how can you take care of your periodontitis? Read on to learn more.

Step 1: Scaling and Root Planing

As the first step in getting rid of your periodontitis, our dentists here at Centennial Dental Center will perform a non-invasive procedure called scaling and root planing. During this procedure, the excessive plaque and tartar build-up will be removed from your teeth and then any roughness of your roots will be smoothed away to prevent the tartar from coming back.

Step 2: Pocket Reduction Surgery

If for some reason, scaling and root planing doesn’t turn out as planned, our dentists will perform a pocket reduction surgery. By creating a small flap in the gums, a pocket reduction procedure involves removing infectious bacteria from the gums to help in the healing process.

Step 3: Gum Grafts

If your roots have become exposed due to the advanced stages of periodontitis, then a gum grafting procedure may come into play. During this procedure, a portion of your gums will be removed from a healthy part of your mouth and will be surgically implanted on top of your infected gums— giving them protection from further decay in the process.

Step 4: Bone Grafting

If you have lost bone mass because of your periodontitis, then a bone grafting procedure may be required. By implanting a synthetic bone in the area where you lost mass, this procedure will help restore your jaw and ability to function.

Depending on how advanced your periodontitis is, we have a variety of treatment options we can perform. To learn more about periodontitis or to schedule an examination, contact Centennial Dental Center today!

3 Reasons To Get Your Teeth Regularly Cleaned

3 Reasons To Get Your Teeth Regularly Cleaned

Unless you’re a pirate you know the importance of taking good care of your teeth. If you haven’t been into Centennial Dental Center to get your teeth cleaned in who knows how long, you certainly aren’t doing your mouth any favors. From keeping your breath fresh to protecting you from developing conditions like gingivitis, this article will discuss three reasons you should get your teeth regularly cleaned. Read on to learn more.

Save Your Loved Ones from the Kiss of Death

Nobody wants to have a conversation with someone who has nasty smelling breath, let alone kiss them. Save your loved ones and your significant other from the kiss of death and get your teeth cleaned. Bad breath is caused by a variety of things including an excess amount of plaque and bacteria in your mouth. However, by getting your teeth cleaned every six months from Centennial Dental Center, your mouth will be rid of bacteria and plaque— leaving you with fresher smelling breath.

Tooth Decay

Unless you like the look of a mouth full of rotting teeth, you want to protect your teeth from decaying. During your regular dental cleaning, you will be examined for things like cavities and erosion. If caught early on, your teeth can be protected from excessive damage— leaving you with a healthy smile that will last the rest of your life.

Bleeding Gums and Gingivitis

Gingivitis or gum disease is caused when plaque and tartar start to erode away at your gums— leaving you with pain, bleeding, swelling, and overall discomfort in your mouth. However, with regular dental cleanings, your dentist at Centennial Dental Center will be able to stop symptoms of gingivitis from getting worse.

Getting regular dental cleanings from Centennial Dental Center is a fast and easy way to ensure that your teeth stay as healthy as possible. To learn more about the importance of dental cleanings, contact Centennial Dental Center.


Sinus Infection or a Toothache? How to Tell the Difference Between the Two

Sinus Infection or a Toothache? How to Tell the Difference Between the Two

You all of a sudden get sensitivity or pain in your teeth when you are chewing food and the first thing that comes to mind is, “I have a cavity.” However, because your body is so interconnected, what you may think is a cavity may actually be something as simple as a sinus problem. So, how can you tell the difference between these two? This article will discuss a few helpful tips to help you differentiate between each of these problems.

Sinus Infection

Symptoms of a sinus infection likely aren’t just going to exhibit itself in your mouth. However, your toothache or sensitivity will probably be the first thing that you notice. In order to help you decipher whether or not you have a sinus infection, try to notice if you have been suffering from a headache, fatigue, pressure under your eyes and around your nose, congestion, or even a slight cough. If you do have any of those symptoms, then it very well could be a sinus infection.


As mentioned previously, the tough thing about trying to determine whether or not you have a toothache or sinus infection is the fact that your ears and mouth are so interconnected, that your symptoms may be very similar. If you have a toothache, however, it will likely worsen when you chew on it or drink water. Additionally, the pain will also most likely worsen over time— leaving you with the inability to eat things like ice cream or soup.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you are suffering from a sinus infection or a toothache, the dentists at Centennial Dental Center are here to help. By taking x-rays and conducting a brief oral examination, we will be able to give you a diagnosis and send you on your way toward recovery in no time.

When Is It Time For Your Kid To Get Braces?

When Is It Time For Your Kid To Get Braces?

Because there’s not one singular guide on the art of parenting, it can feel like you’re constantly playing a guessing game. However, when it comes to the oral health of your child, we at Centennial Dental Center are here to make sure you know what to expect every step of the way. So, how can you tell when it’s time for your child to get braces? From when they get their adult teeth to if and when their self-esteem starts to suffer, this article will discuss a few signs that your child needs braces. Read on to learn more.

When They Have All Their Adult Teeth

Around the age of seven, your child should start developing their adult teeth. Once they have all of their adult teeth, you can start to look into getting them braces. During their biannual or annual cleaning with Centennial Dental Center, we can perform some x-rays to determine whether or not they have all of their adult teeth.

If They Have a Lot of Overcrowding

If your child’s teeth are jammed together and are causing a lot of overcrowding— this can cause all sorts of problems in their mouth. However, by nipping the problem sooner rather than later with braces, we can hopefully prevent the overcrowding from getting worse.

When They Feel Self-Conscious

Nobody is born with a mouth full of perfect teeth— in fact, everyone will need some aligning at some point in their life, but the severity of it varies from patient to patient. If your child’s self-esteem is starting to suffer a bit because of their misaligned teeth, then it may be time to consider having them get braces. Straight teeth cannot only transform their appearance, but it can also take their self-esteem from a zero to a ten.

To learn more about whether or not it’s time for your child to get braces, contact Centennial Dental Center and schedule an appointment!

What To Do About A Bump In Your Mouth

What To Do About A Bump In Your Mouth

The mouth is one of the most sensitive areas of our bodies, and finding something unusual is the reason for concern. A dental exam is the best way to find out more about your bump, and you should take some steps to ensure that the problem does not get worse.

What Causes Bumps in the Mouth?

The cheeks and gums are prone to small injuries while your teeth are chewing foods, so finding a sore or tender area is fairly common. Some of the more surprisingly reasons that people develop bumps in the oral cavity are:

  • Smoking
  • Injured saliva ducts
  • Sore caused by biting your cheek
  • Allergies
  • Stress
  • Digestive issues
  • Trauma to the mouth
  • Infections

What are Types of Bumps Require Treatment?


  • Oral thrush that develops when a certain type of fungus grows inside the mouth. The sores typically appear as whitish spots or bumps on the tonsils, upper palate, cheeks, and gums. The spots or bumps may increase in size. Infants, older patients and those with compromised immune systems are at the highest risk for oral thrush.
  • Fever blisters, also known as cold sores, look like little blisters on the edge of the mouth, inside the cheeks or on the lips. Fever blisters cause a great deal of discomfort, especially when chewing or talking.
  • Canker sores are found on the gums along the bottom of the teeth, on the inside of the cheeks and the upper palate. The sores have a red border that surrounds a white center. As the condition progresses, the sore may grow larger, or you may develop several sores that are clustered.
  • Abscessed teeth can cause small red bumps on the gums near the infected tooth. The condition requires immediate attention by an oral healthcare provider to stop the infection from spreading and causing damage to the bone.
  • Leukoplakia appears as white bumps at the entry of the throat. Patients who smoke and have digestive problems typically develop these types of bumps.
  • Oral cancer causes bumps on several areas of the mouth, such as under the tongue, upper palate and on the inside of the cheeks.

Do You Have an Unusual Bump in Your Mouth? Contact Centennial Dental Center.

If you have a bump in your mouth or would like to learn more about dental cleaningssame day crowns, and our other services, contact Centennial Dental Center to schedule an appointment. You can contact our Boise office directly at (208) 322-1112.

Back to Basics: 3 Simple Ways to Get A Healthier Smile

Back to Basics: 3 Simple Ways to Get A Healthier Smile

When it comes to taking care of your oral health, you may think that you’ve got it all down, but there may be some fairly basic things that you are missing. In fact, when it comes to taking care of any part of your body it seems like the basics are often overlooked. This article will discuss three simple ways that you can get a healthier smile. Read on to learn more.

Get Regular Cleanings

It’s safe to say that a lot of people only visit the dentist when they have to— queue that throbbing pain in the back of your mouth that you had last year. And although you should come in to see one of our dental professionals at Centennial Dental anytime you have a major concern you should also be coming into our office once a year for a cleaning. By staying up on your cleanings, you can cut back on the likelihood that you will get a cavity.

Switch Out Your Toothbrush

When was the last time you got a new toothbrush? Was it last year? Two years ago? Even if your toothbrush is in good condition, you need to switch it out around every 2-3 months. Why exactly? The longer you hold onto your toothbrush for, the more likely bacteria will have to build-up and harbor itself, meaning the more bacteria will build a home in your mouth.

Put Down the Sugar

If you have ever read the labels on the foods that you eat— even the healthy ones— you may be shocked to see how much sugar you are consuming. In fact, the next time you go to the grocery store, try to find a spaghetti sauce that doesn’t have sugar— it’s next to impossible. Because so many of our foods have added sugars in them, it makes us more susceptible to getting dental damage and decay. To help you cut down on your sugars, avoid the obvious foods like desserts that are loaded with sugar but also start reading your labels.

Taking care of your teeth is as simple as following these three tips. If you would like to learn more about how you can care for your oral health, contact Centennial Dental Center today!

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